When I think of the reasons that have led me to pen this letter, I get sad.
I never intended to walk away from the faith. There is so much about Jesus that I like: his personality, his teaching, his example.
I never wanted to walk away from Jesus or his followers, but I feel like I’m left with no choice.
Based on the testimony of others my age, I know I’m not alone. There are people like me walking away every day. Why? Here’s my attempt at giving an answer.
First of all, I get this feeling that I’m not good enough. That I’m lacking something. That I don’t measure up.
This is altogether frustrating.
I’ve been an upstanding citizen, moral and decent from the time I was a kid. That’s the way I was raised – to be a good person who loves other people. The last thing I want to do is harm or hurt anyone. I am honest. I honor those in authority over me. I try to be life-giving in my conversations. I would never steal or cheat anyone.
Despite all of my good qualities, I feel like there’s this strange fixation on my financial choices. It’s like… everywhere I turn, here we go again, harping on my finances.
There is so much I have to offer. Why do my personal decisions carry this much weight? What does it matter what I do with my finances, as long as I’m showing love to those around me and no one gets hurt?
It’s like I’m supposed to give up the core of who I am – to exchange my identity somehow. I’m weathy, yes, relatively speaking. But I give when I see a need. Isn’t that enough?
Besides, I’m not always sure that the people I’d give to (the poor, religious people, charities) would make good use of my gifts. Better to invest wisely so I can do more with my money in the long run. Why this strange fascination with my personal choices?
I could be wrong, but it seems like this whole religion thing has become far too demanding. More and more people are likely to give up completely if the bar is set this high.
It’s nearly impossible for me to join the followers of Jesus if this is what is asked of me.
So, sadly, I walk away.
And I feel like Jesus is sad too.
~ The Rich Young Ruler